The three major contenders for Delhi - the Aam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress - spared no effort to pull voters as campaigning for the 70-member legislative assembly entered the last leg today.
Addressing a rally at Ambedkar Nagar in South Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government is working towards providing job opportunities to youth. He also made an indirect attack on AAP in connection with alleged dubious funding.
Rejecting BJP's allegation of receiving dubious funds, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal dared the Government to arrest him if he has violated any law.
Targetting the BJP Government, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi asked whether the lives of common people have improved in the past seven months. He also goaded AAP for not holding any protest against corruption since the new government came to power.
Many public meetings and road-shows are scheduled for today. Campaigning will be held till 6 p.m. The elections will be held in a single phase on February 7. The counting of votes will take place on February 10.
BJP chief Amit Shah contended that the election outcome cannot be a referendum on the functioning of the Modi government. Dismissing surveys projecting a clear victory for AAP Aadmi Party, he expressed confidence that the BJP will form a government in Delhi with a "very big majority" and Kiran Bedi will become Chief Minister. His comments are in line with the remarks of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Delhi polls.
"It is true that it is an election for Chief Ministership. The election in a state cannot be a referendum (about Centre's functioning). "While this is indeed true that the good work of the Government of India has its impact on elections, a state election cannot become a refrendum (on Centre's functioning) because of that one thing.
"Venkaiahji has not said that. He has said that Delhi election is not to elect a Chief Minister. You also know the Constitution. Elections in Delhi are never to elect Prime Minister," Shah told CNN-IBN.
Holding that the electoral mandate in the national capital cannot be seen as a referendum on the Narendra Modi government, Naidu had told in an interview, "It is an election for Chief Minister and not for Prime Minister."
"Narendra Modi is not fighting assembly elections. It is a state election. You are going to elect a Chief Minister not a Prime Minister. It is the BJP versus the rest. That is all".
Shah dismissed surveys projecting AAP as a winner and ridiculed Kejriwal accusing him of "trying to become a hero" by releasing its internal surveys to claim a winner.
AAP said it was providing more than 6000 recording devices and 2000 spy cameras to the volunteers to help them curb the practice of liquor and money distribution during the assembly polls.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal expressed hope that his party would perform well in the crucial Delhi Assembly polls. "Now we have to work for the nation, God is with us. The citizens of Delhi will win," said Kejriwal.
The Aam Aadmi Party has accused the saffron party of trying to "buy votes" by distributing money and free liquor. "We have information that BJP is distributing money, liquor and non-vegetarian food to the public and they are also seizing voter identity cards of poor," AAP leader Ashutosh alleged.
"We also have information that they are trying to traumatise and threaten these voters that if they vote for AAP, they will have to bear the consequences later," he told reporters.
BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi has urged the people of Delhi to vote so that elections in the national capital don't happen again after a year. "Today I want to thank every Delhi citizen and volunteers and workers. Now, we will work to return that love. People should vote so that elections don't have to happen again after a year," said Bedi.
The former IPS officer stated that her good work in the past was responsible for the love and respect of the people.
"Today my past comes to meet me, my good work in past is seen in how people treat me with love and respect," she added.
The Delhi polls on Saturday will be a direct fight between the BJP and the AAP after the Congress party, which ruled Delhi for uninterrupted 15 years, recorded its worst performance bagging only eight seats in the December 2013 polls.Suggest a correction